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Focus on Indoor Air Quality Increases as Pandemic Drives People Indoors

A recent study by HVAC company YORK found Americans are placing a greater focus on their homes’ health, safety, and comfort as they spent more time indoors the past year. Homeowners are making safety improvements a top priority in 2021, with the vast majority focused on improving indoor air quality. The survey revealed that homeowners recognize the need for better air quality with nearly two-thirds believing that air quality within their home needs improvement. Four in five plan to make it priority this year, especially those with children at home.

Homeowners also revealed in the survey that they have held back from bettering the quality of air in their homes in the past. Nearly three-quarters of homeowners said they have faced at least one barrier to improving their home’s air quality, such as a lack of resources and know-how. Others said they were blind to the fact they could improve it to begin with. Nearly one in ten respondents didn't even know how to access their own HVAC system.

YORK wrote that most homeowners are taking steps to make the air in their home safer or plan to during 2021 by cleaning their kitchen ventilation systems above their cooking range, having their air ducts professionally cleaned, and replacing everything from air filters to entire HVAC systems. “Others are seeking more natural solutions like purchasing more plants, placing air purifiers in rooms throughout the home, and cutting back on or eliminating the use of certain harsh chemicals in order to make the air in their home safer.”

Improving air quality is especially difficult in the United States where summer fire season, prolonged heat waves, and other environmental and man-made factors are creating poor air quality conditions in homes. Experts found that the health effects of inhaling wildfire smoke are equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes each day.

The Environmental Protection Agency states on the website, “In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.” In addition, those who are exposed to indoor air pollutants for long periods of time are often those most susceptible to the effects of the pollution.

With more people spending more time indoors, it is imperative to understand the causes and impacts of poor indoor air quality while finding new and innovative ways to make improvements. The statistics make clear that the average homeowner can be daunted by their lack of knowledge regarding improving air quality. Fortunately, they don’t have to rely solely on themselves when there are professionals who do this every day. 212 Environmental has decades of experience collecting indoor air and vapor samples and now manufactures highly-effective equipment to do the same. With 212 Environmental’s equipment and instructional video library in hand, any home inspector or radon specialist can take accurate samples that can stand up to legal scrutiny. Now more than ever, homeowners want to know that the air in their homes is safe.

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